Thursday, December 18, 2014

Five On Friday - My First Installment

Hi everyone!  I know, I've been away for a couple of weeks... trying to get my WIP's and UFO's all organized into a cohesive pile so I know what is actually out there in my studio, lol! 

Anyway, I thought it would be fun to join in on Five On Friday to take a little breather from the week and share five things -perhaps from the week, or some favorites or, well, you just never know what will pop up on my Five on Friday posts.  So, lets get started, shall we?... Oh, these are the other gals that are the week 3 Five on Friday group:

Beth (that would be me) from The Whimsical Dowager - you are here now

1. I just love YouTube.  The things one can learn there is mind boggling.  You can learn to knit, er, my success so far has been less than stellar but nonetheless you can learn if your fingers are your friends :D  You can learn about anthropology, culture... well, you name it really.  This week I came upon a video about 3 women from Appalachia all born in the early part of the last century.  It is a long video by YouTube standards but this is about heritage and life in a different time, told by the women themselves. (admittedly my interest comes from one of my other lifetimes when I was an anthropologist but I do hope some of you at least will find this fascinating from a sisterhood sort of perspective if nothing else)..

2. My second for this week is Pinterest, well really for any week but this week I thought I would share my newly re-kindled love of embroidery.  Are you beginning to notice a theme connecting the things I love? (I love learning!)...

3. Number three is by far one of my top of the favorites list... a snowy winter day (yes, I am one of "those;"! I love cloudy days whether it be rain, fog or yes, even snow!

4. Is being curled up on the sofa under a warm fluffy throw in front of the fireplace with a good book -  One of my most recent favorite reads
5. And last but not least - my favorite warm beverage of choice in the cold New Hampshire winter months is hot chocolate with lots of marshmallows (OK, I also have another favorite, a cinnamon cappuccino topped with lots of frothy milk) 
Did I mention gingerbread?  Oh but that would be six things... maybe no one is looking and I will just sneak this last one in.  After all, look at those cute little houses! :D
Thanks for visiting... and keep warm for all of you in the northern hemisphere!

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Ode to the past, present and future

~ On the Other Side of Sixty ~

Of late I have been in a deep introspective place in my heart and mind.  I guess it's normal as one approaches a big life event. Dealing with sudden rushes of sadness followed by tears, dread, then laughter and feelings of well being as I struggled with the issue of turning sixty this coming November 26th. How did it happen so quickly? I don't feel any different. I think the way I have always thought, albeit hopefully, with a little more wisdom. Well, of course my body has new little aches, my eyeglass prescription has been changed several times over the last few years to where I now must wear them all the time if I want to read something or work on my computer.  For the first time I am actually looking back over my life!

Has it really been 37 years since I first walked the halls of my first college - filled with the dreams of a starry-eyed freshman already counting the days until I would become a PhD. and professor of archaeology? Studying the ancient past to better understand the human condition, pondering what once was and considering how it might help us follow more straightly our path to becoming better at being human? Of course I was going to change the world!

Recently I was in contact with one of my beloved anthropology professors only to discover he had retired and had cancer. The ensuing shock accompanying the fact that he was the last of the anthropology department as I had known it.

Many of my professors had passed away at terribly early ages soon after I graduated and went off to graduate school, all unbeknownst to me at the time but nonetheless painful as I discovered this truth. I suddenly felt a gaping hole inside me - the kind you feel when you lose something or someone so close to you that they are a part of you.

The sadness was overwhelming. I was mourning not only my professors' absence but also all those bright shiny unfulfilled lost dreams.  The feelings were so totally new to me and flooded my mind so quickly I could do nothing but sit down and cry, and cry, and cry some more. Eventually as the tears subsided the emptiness that will never again be filled as it once was made a new void in my heart.

Now as I am a mere few days away from this right of passage I still have mixed emotions, some sad and some happy.  Not living in a society that reveres it's "Elders," where things are all youth oriented it is a challenge to "Grow Old Gracefully"; however, I am determined to leave my own unique statement upon this life colloquium.

Then I was a starry eyed anthropology student, a lover of nature, photographer, wife of a doctor, gardener, music lover, animal lover and free spirit.

Today I am a wife of another, artist, free spirit, gardener, medievil music lover, photographer, painter, writer, animal lover, naturalist, avid reader, blog designer, weaver, confirmed vanilla lover, and rescuer of worms from puddles, and spiders from the rain.

~Growing Old Gracefully~

Wednesday, December 3, 2014


Hi everyone! Well, it's another WOYWW week and as usual we can thank Julia for this wonderful day of sneak peaks at every one's desks and ongoing projects!  Do pop by her blog Stamping Ground if you have no idea what I'm talking about and she will explain!!! :D

This is my desk as of late last night.  I know, what's with all the wire lately?!  Beats me, my muse is in charge and one never knows when she starts swinging paint brushes, glitter, glue and paper around the studio.  Seems we are on a wire kick right now so...

That DIY dress form I shared several weeks ago got me to thinking about making forms for dolls and making them with papier mache.  I've gotten most of the form shaped but am pondering exactly how to approach the next step.  I'm toying with the idea of making her neck and head as a soft sculpture doll and her bodice with papier mache but the dress part I'm still unsure about.  I'm thinking fabric using a fabric stiffener or perhaps crumpled and dyed tissue paper in different layers and colors... must ponder some more while my muse makes up her mind.

Just in case you are not familiar with the soft sculpture dolls I'm talking about here is the first cloth art doll I ever made:

and, before you ask, the horse is still not finished... it was supposed to have copper metal rods as supports for his legs but I couldn't get the papier mache to stick to them so I went to the pondering stage.  Well you all I am sure know the danger of the pondering stage... some other project has the potential to sneak in leaving your pondered project left unfinished.  Really need to get back to him!

Monday, December 1, 2014

Is it really December already?

Happy DECEMBER to all my blogging friends!!!
In all the present shopping, gift making, wrapping and decorating 
don't forget to take a moment here and there
to reflect upon all the beauty of this quickly closing year.

Do pop over to Susannah Conway's blog who hosts this meme for December reflections... giving you a rather unique way to reflect.

Wednesday, November 26, 2014


Very short post today. It's my birthday and I was oddly motivated to clean my desk in order to get ready for the next project on my list. To make up for the boring view of my desk I thought I would entertain you with the current snow storm we are experiencing. Enjoy and see you all next week at Julia's WOYWW!  I might be late visiting everyone as our power keeps flickering due to the heavy wet snow so we may lose power... *sigh* such is a country life... but hey, somebody has to do it :D

Wide view of my main work desk top.  I have two other work spaces that are stations for my die cutting and the other is for my book binding.  A full tour will be coming in January when I participate in the Grow Your Blog Party on January 25th over at Vicki's "2 Bags Full" blog.

A little better view of my recent project of storage on a turntable.  Since my last post I decided to elevate it so I decorated another can and glued it to the underside of the turntable.  Now
I have some space underneath to tuck things out of the way and my tools in the cans on the turntable are at eye level so they are easier to find and reach.

It is really pretty to look out at the falling snow from my desk... this I must admit is one
of the perks of having two windows in my studio... 
I can watch the seasons change as they inspire me to create

My new Cricut Explore, which I have no clue how to use as of yet! :D

OK, Ready for some snow? I would add to this that at 10:00 a.m. this morning not a single
snowflake was on the ground!  It's now 2:30 p.m.  We don't mess around here in New England! LOL!

This is the view right out of my front door and left.

My poor copper kitty, look at those frozen whiskers... brrrrrrrrrr

OK, so guiltily you can see I hadn't gotten around to cleaning up the garden... maybe
I will get a reprieve and this batch of snow will melt so I can scoot in and
do a fast clean up, and get my precious ceramic pots indoors before 
they crack out in the snow and cold

Yes Louise, those are falling snowflakes!